Why fuel is so important in 2010 (Video)

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The video above supplied by Shell and Ferrari does a good job of explaining the extra importance fuel technology will play in 2010.

The ban on refuelling means the teams now have to carry an entire load of fuel with them for a race. Fuel companies like Shell can help F1 teams get a performance advantage by producing fuel which is used more efficiently, meaning the cars can carry less of it, saving weight.

Some of the other implications of the refuelling ban are less obvious. As the video explains, keeping fuel temperature under control is especially important. Last year when cars took on fuel at pit stops it would be at a lower temperature than the fuel already in the car, helping to keep temperatures down.

This year the teams won’t have that benefit, and the fuel suppliers have had to compensate by changing the formula that goes into the tanks.

See the video for more – it features interviews with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa and is narrated by James Allen.

NB. I have uploaded the video at higher quality than usual – please let me know if you experience playback problems.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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58 comments on “Why fuel is so important in 2010 (Video)”

  1. Wow, staying up late posting articles Keith! :D

  2. James Allen… tht did it for me really! Can’t stand him!

    1. Easy ! – Your entitled to your opinion I know – & I must admit I shared yours for a
      while too – but I think I formed it a little too hastily and just wasn’t used to not hearing Murray ! :) but I have changed my opinion towards him – Along with this site his site http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/ is one of the most informative on the web and like Keith he takes time to respond to some of the more thought out questions posted on it by his readers – his Twitter pages are good too as are Keith’s :)- Without them the world of F1 on the web would be a duller place !

      1. Cant agree more!

        Took about 15 seconds to buffer to 6%, started playing and promptly paused at 10%, though after that it was played smoothly. My laptop’s mediocre, though my connection is a savvy 12mb/s.

        Fullscreen, the quality was DVD-like, but I never play 4 minute films about petrol that way – and I doubt many others do (with the exception of Bart!) – so much of the extra clarity isn’t noticed really.
        Save it for the special videos Keith!

      2. I’ll admit his website is great, but, he irritates me in races, It’s not a lack of Murray, he just isn’t very insightful,

        I just find that I am yelling explanations for what the teams are doing at him, rather than him yelling them at me….
        This annoys me.

        Actually I end up yelling at him alot, which might make me appear mad, you know, yelling at the tv. Oo

        I should also add that I didn’t actually see the clip, being on a fairly slow connection in Australia, It took about one and a half minutes to get to 5%…

  3. Great quality video, very jumpy on my netbook and seemed to take a long time too load. Probably about time to upgrade the laptop!
    Great to hear JA again, good voice when not screaming about hamilton

  4. Ned Flanders
    6th March 2010, 0:41

    Is it just me or does the guy at 16 seconds look and sound a bit like Jarno Trulli?!

    The first minute of this video is just Shell marketing publicocrap. The second half was quite interesting though

  5. Are you hosting that video yourself Keith? Flashgot is showing it as 231mb which is pretty huge for a blog post. If even only a few thousand people view that it will be 1TB of your bandwidth gone.

  6. Wow, sometimes I forget some of the most technical aspects of F1 (fuel/brakes etc) are outsourced, and it’s not just a sticker on the side of the car.

  7. Afraid my “Broadband” just isn’t up to it

  8. it took a while to download n even then it moved in frames…..my lappy isnt the best with videos, but this wasn’t watch-able from my point of view. guess i’ll check it at work on monday!

  9. are you sure that’s james allen?

    1. Yeah, I wasn’t convinced it was him at all.

  10. Video worked great for me. Maybe because it is 5:00am UK time (9:00pm PST for me), so not many others trying to access it at the same time?

    I have to admit that I was not aware that teams had their own fuel providers.
    Do all teams have partnerships like Ferrari-Shell? Is Shell used only for the Ferrari team, or also by the Ferrari engine customers teams?
    How many Fuel partnership are there in F1?

    1. Ya most of them have Mclaren has Mobile, maybe others have Pertonas. There will be some suppliers.

  11. Can’t watch the video it taking too much time.

  12. Don’t know if Total supply Renault’s.

    1. I think Renault is ELF, which is actually owned by TOTAL.

  13. Keith you need to add a switch to choose quality of this Video because my connection is just to slow

  14. The Nude Wizard
    6th March 2010, 6:57

    waited 10 minutes,it was still at 6%

    found it on youtube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bh8fD2F4QvE

  15. HounslowBusGarage
    6th March 2010, 8:13

    The You Tube version is only 14,5 Mb and the quality seems fine. Maybe they use a different type of compression.
    Interesting video.

    1. what is it called on the youtube?

  16. Took a few minutes to download. But looks nice enough on 27″ full-screen.

  17. Nice video, I had no problems viewing it with my (2-year old) laptop trhough Wifi, although i let it load about 1/3 before starting to watch.

    Really like sponsors and partners presenting themselves in this way, so I hope this gets all team partners doing some as well.

    Thanks for posting this.

  18. This is so cool. They should allow teams to have individual tyre suppliers as well.

  19. Tip: click on video link hit the pause button go off make a cup of tea come back and watch it once it’s all downloaded – perfect no probs my end :)

  20. worked perfectly for me! great video keith

  21. No, no problems, good quality!

  22. Presumably Fuel will be quite important in getting the cars to move! ;)

  23. Fuel’s very important, you’re no good without any fuel.

    What difference do these lighter, more efficient fuels make then? How much less would a Ferrari tankful weigh than, say, a fuel load for new team like Hispania or Lotus?

  24. Keith, if possible could you use youtube instead? Youtube loads a lot faster. With this vid I had to wait around 15 or so minutes for it to buffer.

    1. I’d like to but I’ve had difficulty persuading Youtube that videos such as these supplied by teams or third parties are legal to upload.

  25. Great quality video, but despite I’m using a MacbookPro with fast processor, quite good graphics chips, and high speed band, it took me a while to load the video.

    I think you should go through HD youtube.

    Anyway, good to watch that quality, quite close to a DVD one. You should try to keep it that way, Keith.

  26. It worked well for me: as I was reading the comments the video loaded…
    Didn’t imagine fuel was so important. Probably it will be a factor for this year racing: the lighter the faster…

  27. Alonso Follower
    6th March 2010, 13:36

    Keith, the video is of absolutely astounding quality even at full screen. However, it is too big for the average WiFi speed to be watched comfortably. I guess that you should trade off some quality for size.

  28. money=Ferrari
    6th March 2010, 14:02

    I find it cheeky you are slapping your name over it trying to make people think you made it.

    1. I am certainly not trying to pretend that I made it. The first paragraph makes that abundantly clear.

      1. Plink Plonk Plunk
        6th March 2010, 16:22

        Im guessing by his user name he means Ferrari.

        Got any info on the tanks this year Keith? Size & Construction, etc. I would think the teams have to build ‘cells’ within the tanks to keep the fuel, especially when 2/3 full, from sloshing about within the tank.

        Thanks for posting the vid. I had zero problem loading or watching it.

        1. Last year the tank size was 150 litres, I guess this year it may be 225-250 litres. Formula 1.com saying that teams are building fuel tank to carry 160 kilo of fuel.

  29. The video quality is absolutely fantastic Keith but your server was quite slow. Watching at 15:20 to 15:30 GMT in the US it dl’ed at .5-.6 mbs on a 10mbs connection, took about 10 minutes to buffer completely.

    1. sorry that should have been 14:20 to 14:30 GMT

  30. Worked wonders for me. No problems with download and performance

  31. Mark Hitchcock
    6th March 2010, 14:53

    My computer/connection can barely handle Youtube sometimes. So needless to say that trying to play this video slowed everything down to a halt (in fact, Firefox decided it didn’t want to respond any more).

    Thanks for uploading in high quality though Keith, when it’s something a bit more visually interesting I’ll probably risk trying to watch it!

  32. Think it’s fair to say the consensus is the quality is good but the playback is slow. Will try a different quality level next time. Thanks for the feedback everyone.

  33. I’m sure you know but for some reason your videos don’t work in Chrome. I just get a nice empty bit of space where the video player should be. Have to open up IE, which is total bumgas!

    Otherwise groovy vid! I don’t mind having to wait for it to fully load before watching it, but it’s definitely too big to stream smoothly.

    1. Never had that problem in Chrome. Maybe you need flash plugin.

      1. I don’t have problems on any other website. I definitely have flash because youtube, iplayer etc. work with no issues at all.

        1. I use Chrome – “the canine testicle of a browser” knocks the socks off IE/Safari & Firefox and the video works fine – would suggest you re-install the Flash for Chrome Plug-in

  34. On a 10MB connection it only stopped to buffer once at 51% for a few seconds. Great Quality and more than viewable on my connection. Thanks.

    Nice Shell advert. lol.

    Yeah, the 2nd half was more informative, well 60% – 80% the rest was marketing bollox.

    Who supplies the fuel for Red Bull and Mclaren? I’m going to have to look it up now.

  35. Unfortunately, I live in rural England. So my internet connection is just toooooooooooooo slow to run the clip :(

  36. ******* these are for the 2009 season *******

    Castrol – Toro Rosso
    Elf – Renault
    Esso – Toyota
    Mobil – McLaren
    Petrobras – Williams
    Petronas – BMW
    Shell – Ferrari

  37. Keith quality of the video is great but while watching it video is falling behind the sound.

  38. Very good quality. Loaded in a couple of mins; my netbook struggled slightly with it though (with no other tabs or programs open). Maybe a YouTube/Vimeo type option to switch between different resolutions is in order.

  39. As some of us have bandwidth limits, a little less quality for this type of video would still be fine!

    Thanks for uploading though. 20% of the total weight at the startline just in fuel is immense!

  40. What’s this!? Ferrari are using ‘lighter’ fuel?

    Fuel economy was never their greatest strength, unless you think that a 612 Scaglietti’s 13 mpg official figure is quite good. Heaven only knows what it does when you actually apply some pressure to the gas pedal.

    It will be interesting to know just how much fuel each team has to put in their cars fuel tanks at the beginning of each race. I believe that the FIA are not going to disclose the actual figures.

  41. the only problems i had with the video were it took longer to buffer, and it just stopped before the end. i scrolled forwards on the locator bar to where it stopped and it was ok…. good video tho keith, good find.

  42. Thanks Shell…

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